Some people expressed surprise that I was at the Midwest Zebrafish meeting. They have meetings about zebrafish? How weird. Only not. What I find weird is that people are unaware of this mundane part of the science experience, so I thought I’d briefly explain it.
Every sub-sub-discipline does this. There are zebrafish meetings, fly meetings, worm meetings, mouse meetings, bat meetings. There are meetings dedicated to specific diseases. There are meetings for organs and tissues: brain meetings, kidney meetings, hair cell meetings, enteric nervous system meetings, ear meetings. There are meetings dedicated to the mechanisms of vomiting. There are meetings with 50 attendees, others with 30,000. They are going on in every city of the country all the time. We are right there under your nose.
In her recently published book, “Presidents’ Secrets: The Use and Abuse of Hidden Power,” Mary Graham rampages through American history to show that it’s an old story: Presidents almost always try to keep information secret, and someone else is always trying to make it public.
There are some surprises. George Washington was pro-transparency; Woodrow Wilson anti. Much of the current national security state apparatus can be traced back to Wilson, via Harry Truman, another tarnished icon of liberalism.
Donald Trump is running what might be the most transparent administration in history.
There is still controversy about just what Trump strategy or Clinton failure, involving at what voting group, gave Trump an electoral college win. One constituency has been reliably Republican for a long, long time and didn’t stop when that meant Trump. Jon Perr at PERRspectives points out how Republican lawmakers are about to betray unsuspecting older voters.
The police officer who shot and killed Philando Castile has been acquitted by a Minnesota jury. Max’s Dad reviews the evidence, a video recording of the incident. He marvels at the clarity and wonders how a jury can be so blind.
Green Eagle categorizes the would-be assassin at the Republican baseball practice as
… a white old guy with a gun who is indistinguishable from the worst sort of violent, rage filled Trump-NRA crackers…
bemoans the new opportunity for conservatives to Reichstag-fire over it, and blames the shooting itself on Bernie Sanders. I get the resentment and frustration, but not the logic of blaming Bernie.
I especially like the 2008 exhortation by then candidate Obama to actively engage in neighborhood debate, knocking on doors, serving as his “campaign ambassadors,” not letting conservative falsehoods go unchallenged. My friend abbreviates that to a “get in their faces” call to violence.
From Reverend Greg as a guest of former Pastor and Current Atheist Bruce Gerencser:
There is no argument that will win Bruce back to the faith. This is between God (if God exists, which I believe He does) and Bruce. Besides, I don’t think I’d come out too well in an argument with Bruce. He seems to be a capable defender of whatever he believes, whether as a Christian in the past or an atheist at the present time.
Some Christians may not like this, but Bruce has done us a service by exposing some of the hypocrisy in the church. He has also posted stories about crooked pastors. To that I say “thanks!” Too many times, the church has excused bad behavior and criminal actions, sweeping them under a rug or passing the problem on to another unsuspecting congregation.
A lot of Christians have abandoned Bruce — people he used to call friends. That is too bad. If God is love, then why do we fail to love? I’m sure someone will find some scripture to say why we should treat Bruce like a leper, a tax collector, or some kind of apostate enemy of the faith. It’s easy to want to argue with him, feel superior to him, to be smug. But what if we Christians would just take him at his word, respect him as a fellow human, and treat him as we would want to be treated? I personally know some friends of Bruce that have not deserted him. Thankfully, they still care. But too many Christians are more worried about winning an argument, about being right, than loving a person just for who he is and where he is in his life.
I firmly believe, once fully implemented, that an economy devoid of government regulation replete with greatly reduced taxes for the wealthiest 1% will prove to be an utter disaster. This smug Ryan has proven himself time and again to be a pure ideologue who will side with his reactionary Republican Party above all else. Although he may fein to, he doesn’t give a damn about the poor, the handicapped, the sick or the elderly, and certainly not for average everyday American workers, especially those very few who still belong to labor unions! This charlatan is a shill for big business and corporate interests.
No Republican “broke with” the president. But none of them really did much to support him, either.
It was a riveting display of political fireworks, complete with a fired FBI director accusing his former boss of lying about why he was fired. Comey also said he had to take special precautions with Trump in large part because the president can’t be trusted to tell the truth. Devastating.
But the core of James Comey’s testimony was built upon the question of obstruction of justice, for which he had a clear and, basically, uncontested story:
Though this movie has aroused much enthusiasm among female fans, there’s nothing anti-male about it. Steve Trevor (Chris Pine) is also a strong and effective character, not diminished or intimidated by acting as an ally to a biologically-superior female. Of course I personally loved all the Classical Greek references, even if the actual Classical Greek culture was heavily male-dominated.